I was once an adherent of a fringe Goddess-worship sect known as Filianism.
It spread mostly through the Internet, and without any centralized organization.
For some time, however, I could not deny this feeling that it wasn’t authentic, that everything is made up.
A few days ago, I came across an anonymous blog that seems to be attributed to one of the authors of the “Filianic Scriptures” that openly admits that the book was a fabrication, a creative work published in hope that it would “[represent] something not too unlike – or at least a rendition for the modern mind of – a feminine spiritual tradition that [they] postulated to have existed in the past.”
Of course, many new religious movements engage in this sort of pious fraud with a naive hope that it would lend the sects a semblance of historicity and legitimacy. At the same time, many religious books are admittedly modern creations, such as A Course In Miracles (ACIM, first published in 1976) and Mary Eddy Baker’s Science and Health with Keys to the Scriptures (first published in 1875). Many also believe that the Book of Mormon (first published in 1830) is a work of fiction. Robert Heinlein’s 1961 science-fiction novel, Stranger in a Strange Land, even inspired the creation of a Neo-Pagan religious organization, Church of All Worlds.
But this admission (if this blog is authentic and not a fake news site created by Filianism’s detractors) is true, it puts the entire premise of Filianism (or Deanism or Madrianism, as some may call it) in question.
Personally, I am not attached to this affair at the moment. My former obsession with Goddess-worship had inexplicably faded away over the past nine months as I began to embrace my authentic self as a non-binary person — and at the same time, I began reconciling myself with my Pentecostal background after I watched Come Sunday, the Netflix biopic of Bishop Carlton D. Pearson.
Nonetheless, this scandal would be a major loss to feminist theologians who saw Filianism as a possible template for a non-patriarchal faith community.